Last Updated March 16, 2018

Guggenheim Bilbao

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Guggenheim Bilbao atrium ©
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. It is located in the centre of the city of Bilbao in northern Spain.

The museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by former King Juan Carlos I of Spain. It has been built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Cantabrian Sea, and is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The museum features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. It is one of the largest museums in Spain.

The striking design of the building includes an exterior that is clad in glass, titanium and limestone. The approach to the museum's entrance is dominated by Jeff Koons' Puppy sculpture. The eight meter high sculpture is constructed from stainless steel, soil, and flowering plants. It is possible to walk all the way around the outside of the Museum, admiring different configurations from each perspective and also a number of artworks installed outside. This includes work by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Yves Klein, Jeff Koons, and Fujiko Nakaya.

Inside the museum the exhibitions change often. The highlight of the collection, and its only permanent exhibit, is 'The Matter of Time' (incorporating an earlier work, Snake) – a series of weathering steel sculptures designed by the artist Richard Serra, which is housed in the 130-meter Arcelor Gallery. The sculpture is composed of many pieces, and you can walk through and around them, creating an unforgettable, dizzying feeling of space in motion.

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